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2013 V2 October

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Better than herbicides? – FFC research

Herbicides have been the mainstay of weed control for over half a century. However, farmers, growers and scientists are realising that herbicides are increasingly in trouble, with growing resistance, mounting intolerance from consumers, and legislative prohibition. The race is therefore on to find alternatives. ISTW is a non-chemical weed control technique that can outperform herbicides… (more)

Drought-Proof Pastures

Ryegrass and white clover are the mainstay of NZ pastures for many good reasons, but, they are not the best performers when it gets dry.  With the climate already changing and much of the country forecast to get dryer, more drought-proof pastures are becoming essential.  Dr Rainer Hofmann, of Lincoln University has been working on how to improve the drought-tolerance of our pasture legumes… (more)

Farming the third dimension

Most annual crops and pastures fail to make the maximum use of soil nutrients, water and sunlight, leaving an often significant chunk of a farms productive potential unfulfilled.  Ecological science is clear about how to maximise resource use: plant a wide diversity of species.  However, for modern mechanised farms, such a scatter-gun approach is completely impractical.  The answer is agroforestry: an intelligent, and scientifically validated way of increasing your total farm output and profitability. (more)

White tipped Californian thistles: Be on the Lookout!

Have you noticed any thistles with whitish bleached-out growing tips?  Identification of these plants could lead to the release of a biological herbicide for thistle control in New Zealand… (more)

UNCTAD Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake up before it is too late: Make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a major new report in September 2013 calling for “a paradigm shift in agricultural development: from a “green revolution” to a “truly ecological intensification” approach” … (more)

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